Background checks include four screening questions
The Lindbergh Board of Education heard a presentation on district safety procedures at a July 21 workshop. The presentation highlighted recent safety improvements and how the district handles hiring processes.
District Safety and Security Coordinator Terrell Baker briefed the council on the daily safety and security measures the district takes. The district adheres to Missouri School Improvement Plan (MSIP 6) safety standards, so a big part of Baker’s job is to make sure the district is in compliance with state requirements.
Baker said he was hired in 2019, and since then the district has implemented several programs to meet safety standards.
“Dr. (Tony) Lake came to me and said, ‘I want to set up a school crossing guard program’…we’ve now got it and each of our schools has a crossing guard,” Baker said. .
A year before Baker was hired, the district implemented the Visitor Management System, an MSIP 6 requirement. This system checks visitors against the national registry and requires visitors to present their driver’s license to the entrance to buildings. Visitors are required to wear a name tag and are escorted throughout.
Part of Lindbergh’s R proposal was the establishment of secure entrance vestibules in school buildings – Baker said the district is going beyond normal standards for these, adding transaction windows so visitors don’t do not always have to completely enter a building.
In 2020, the district revised its emergency response plan, another MSIP 6 requirement. Baker said the plan was good, but needed to meet FEMA standards.
Baker also touched on ways the district connects with local police for outreach and safety. The district is part of the Police Athletic League, where local police will provide mentors to sports teams to increase community awareness.
“I love the PAL program. We are able to have an agent in our elementary, middle and high schools. It’s another way for students to see law enforcement not just in uniform,” Baker said.
The district is also connecting its emergency radio and paging systems at all schools and with local police. Baker said these systems are crucial in emergency situations.
Baker said the district is still testing and training security systems throughout the district. This includes physical security assessments, training academies and emergency preparedness exercises.
The Board also heard a presentation from the Director of Human Resources, Brian McKenney, on safety in the hiring process. It covered pre-employment, training and post-employment.
McKenney said the district gives applicants the opportunity to disclose past criminal activity or issues with former employers.
“As the person progresses through the hiring process … (admins) will then do reference checks, and if they’re recommended for hire, HR comes in and does a background check,” McKenney said. .
These background checks include four screening questions for the most recent employer on sexual misconduct issues or other policies. Another type of background check is the Missouri Rap Back Program. The Rap Back program is like a recurring background check, providing automatic criminal record updates for current employees.
Once an employee is hired, they must complete many mandatory safety training courses. These are all IT modules with a mandatory test afterwards.
When an employee leaves the district, several security measures are taken. These include collecting keys, passwords, managing files, and keeping course materials.